Th-clefts in English: Form and Function


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Martínez Caro, Elena (2008) Th-clefts in English: Form and Function. In Estudios de filología inglesa : homenaje a la Dra. Asunción Alba Pelayo. Varia (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (España)), 340 . Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, pp. 239-255. ISBN 978-84-362-5553-9

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This paper investigates the so-called th-cleft construction illustrated by sentences such as "The thing that he loved most of all in the whole world was the sea". Following Collins (1991), such constructions are considered a type of pseudo-cleft construction because of their formal and functional similarity with the ‘canonical’ pseudo-cleft with a fused relative clause introduced by a wh-interrogative. The main aim of this study is to examine th-cleft constructions in Modern English, focusing on the thing(s)- and the one(s)-clefts, both basic and reversed, and to look at their formal features and main informative and communicative functions in discourse.
As the evidence presented from the BNC and LLC corpora suggests, th-clefts are a recognisable type of construction in English, although clearly associated with other types of pseudo-clefts. One of the main motivations that the speaker has for selecting a th-cleft rather than a wh-cleft is that the former, but not the latter, allows for expansion of the same kind as is found in other NPs occurring in other kinds of clauses, making the th-cleft a very versatile construction.

Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:Th-clefts; Pseudo-clefts; English; British National Corpus; London-Lund Corpus.
Subjects:Humanities > Philology > Linguistics
Humanities > Philology > English philology
ID Code:55896
Deposited On:01 Jul 2019 18:39
Last Modified:01 Jul 2019 18:39

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